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Kumo Cloud with ecobee Smart Thermostat

I am adding Mitsubishi mini splits to the master bedroom MSZ-GL09 and living room MSZ-GL24. Both rooms are their own zones for my forced hot water gas boiler controlled by their own ecobee smart thermostat with voice control. I want to add the Mitsubishi Kumo Cloud adapter (PAC-USWHS002-WF-2) to each head. I'd love to understand how the ecobee and Kumo Cloud will work together.

From what I read, it seems that I will run two things on my phone, the Kumo app which controls the head and IFTTT (If This Then That) which controls the ecobee. Something tells IFTTT the outdoor temperature and if it is low enough IFTTT turns on the gas heat via the ecobee and turns off the head. Did I get that right so far? Any details would be helpful.

My HVAC contractor says I also need to wire Kumo Station into my boiler. This seems unnecessary. Can Kumo Cloud control my ecobee without Kumo Station?

When this is all set up do I retain manual control with the remote control and the TSTAT?

Our local energy conservation group, Mass Save, offers substantial rebates if Kumo Cloud is installed.

Comments

  • Jim100Flower
    Jim100Flower Member Posts: 100
    I did some more research and the integration of Kumo Cloud and ecobee is easy because they are both on the network. The only required hardware is the PAC-USWHS002-WF-2 Kumo Cloud Wi-Fi Adapter.

    Here is what Mass Save says:
    IFTTT App connects Mitsubishi Electric Kumo Cloud with any IFTTT compatible thermostat. Current IFTTT compatible thermostats include Ecobee and Honeywell as of 11/1/19. For a list of devices, go to www.ifttt/services (Environment Control & Monitoring). Integration is capable by logging compatible thermostat and Kumo Cloud into IFTTT, then creating an applet allowing IFTTT to adjust primary and secondary heating systems, based on outdoor temperature.

    Steps:
    1. Create a free account on If This Then That, IFTTT.com.
    2. Connect the ecobee service using your ecobee username and password.
    3. Connect the Mitsubishi Electric Kumo Cloud service using your Kumo username and password.
    4. Create a free Applet
    - IF Ecobee: outdoor temperature is below 30F THEN Ecobee: turn on zone.
    - IF Ecobee: outdoor temperature is below 30F THEN Kumo: turn off zone.

    Surprisingly easy. It is all clicking and no coding.
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 812
    edited August 2
    What happens when the cloud goes down? Like the middle of the coldest night of the year during a blizzard? I don't think I'd want to rely on a cloud service to control when my heat switches over to aux.

    This level of control over the functioning of the mechanicals in a house needs to be handled by local hardware. Not software defined schemes in the cloud, to risky. 
  • Jim100Flower
    Jim100Flower Member Posts: 100
    JakeCK the thermostat for the boiler and the remote for the mini split continue to work and override the last action of the applet.
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 812
    So this isn't true "Something tells IFTTT the outdoor temperature and if it is low enough IFTTT turns on the gas heat via the ecobee and turns off the head."? 

    It make no sense if the thermostat can override what it is being told to do by the cloud service when the cloud service is acting as the control to switch between primary and aux heat. Generally aux heat(either electric or gas) is used when it is too cold for a heat pump to effectively provide heat. If this function is some how defeated it could mean burst pipes and a damaged home. 

    Maybe if, instead of turning the gas heat on and off, it is just adjusting the setpoint of the thermostat so the gas heat is never truly off it'll work, and the heat pump will be able to fail safely?
  • yesimon
    yesimon Member Posts: 34
    You should have some hysteresis in your switching temperature - something like 30F mini splits off, 35F mini splits on again.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,556
    Kumo station not needed when you do Kumo and Ecobee, from what I understand- that would be redundant and overlapping control strategies 

    I have not done that set up yet.

    We have done Ecobee and Flair Puck, And maybe 15 or so Kumo station set ups

    The Kumo station is a little bit more work, a little bit more money. But it allows you to keep your existing thermostats, We just advisories turn them down a few degrees.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Jim100Flower
    Jim100Flower Member Posts: 100
    yesimon said:

    You should have some hysteresis in your switching temperature - something like 30F mini splits off, 35F mini splits on again.

    Yesimon, agree. What do you think are good switch over temperatures as the temperature falls and as it rises again?

  • Jim100Flower
    Jim100Flower Member Posts: 100
    JakeCK said:

    Maybe if, instead of turning the gas heat on and off, it is just adjusting the setpoint of the thermostat so the gas heat is never truly off it'll work, and the heat pump will be able to fail safely?

    JakeCK, that makes a lot of sense. Always keep the boiler setpoint at a temperature where the pipes won't freeze. I will investigate if the ecobee service has a action to set the temperature and not just actions to turn the boiler on or off.
  • Jim100Flower
    Jim100Flower Member Posts: 100
    GW said:

    We have done Ecobee and Flair Puck, And maybe 15 or so Kumo station set ups

    GW, What do you use for switchover temperatures?

  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,556
    In the past it has been 40° but this year MassSave is requiring 30° for oil/natural, and 15° for LP.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Wellness
    Wellness Member Posts: 127
    edited August 5
    Cloud controlled thermostats dramatically increase the points of potential failure of heating or cooling capability: your modem or router could malfunction or go bad; your Internet Service Provider could have issues and, in the worst case scenario, your thermostat maker's servers could go down or the company could go out of business altogether. That's way to much risk to take IMO. If you get one of these be sure to keep your old t-stat as a backup.
  • Jim100Flower
    Jim100Flower Member Posts: 100
    GW said:

    In the past it has been 40° but this year MassSave is requiring 30° for oil/natural, and 15° for LP.

    GW Thanks. I have natural gas. So I would set it up that if the temp falls below 15F I turn on the boiler and if the temp goes above 15F turn off the boiler. Did Mass Save publish that number anywhere? There is a blank on the rebate form for Switchover Temp but no other guidance.
  • Jim100Flower
    Jim100Flower Member Posts: 100
    Wellness said:

    Cloud controlled thermostats dramatically increase the points of potential failure of heating or cooling capability: your modem or router could malfunction or go bad; your Internet Service Provider could have issues and, in the worst case scenario, your thermostat maker's servers could go down or the company could go out of business altogether. That's way to much risk to take IMO. If you get one of these be sure to keep your old t-stat as a backup.

    Good advice. I think I will be checking the TSTAT every day and night until I think I can trust the automation. As a test I am trying to send myself a text message based on ecobee outdoor temperature and so far my applet is a failure.
  • Jim100Flower
    Jim100Flower Member Posts: 100
    Here are proposed applets using actual ecobee and Mitsubishi Kumo IFTTT triggers and actions
    It does not incorporate the hysteresis mentioned by yesimon because I don't know the values.

    The goals are to
    Switch from Mitsubishi mini split to boiler when the temperature falls to a point where the mini split is no longer efficient.
    Switch back to the mini split when the temperature goes back up.
    Fail gracefully so that the room never gets seriously cold - think pipes freezing.


    Assume the ecobee schedule for boiler is set for comfort, say 65F
    Assume Mitsubishi is set for comfort, say 65F
    That way, if anything fails, the room is never cold.
    Start by running Applet Master Bedroom Start/Reset.

    Applet Master Bedroom Start/Reset
    IF: (some always true condition)
    - android SMS - send SMS “Resetting Master Bedroom.”
    AND
    - ecobee - Set Thermostat to Indefinite Hold - 60F

    Applet Master Bedroom Falling Temperature
    IF: ecobee outdoor temperature falls below 15
    - android SMS - send SMS “Switching from Mitsubishi to boiler.”
    AND
    - ecobee - Resume Thermostat Program
    AND
    - mitsubishi - Lower Temperature 5F

    Applet Master Bedroom Rising Temperature
    IF: ecobee - outdoor temperature rises above 15F
    - android SMS - send SMS “Switching from boiler to Mitsubishi.”
    AND
    - ecobee - Set Thermostat to Indefinite Hold - 60F
    AND
    - mitsubishi - Raise Temperature 5F


    What do you think?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,150
    I think a pair of T87s, one for the boiler and one for the heat pump... might need a relay to actually turn the heat pump off... >:)
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,556
    Jim are you in Mass? Natural gas is 30 degrees. Of course it can be lower. But they don't want it higher

    Propane is 15 degrees

    it’s published in our technician- installing contractor communications- not sure if it’s public or not  
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Jim100Flower
    Jim100Flower Member Posts: 100
    GW said:

    Jim are you in Mass? Natural gas is 30 degrees. Of course it can be lower. But they don't want it higher

    Propane is 15 degrees

    it’s published in our technician- installing contractor communications- not sure if it’s public or not  

    Hi GW, yes I am a homeowner in Lynn MA with some software background but no HVAC background. Thank you for this information.

    So, if ODT falls below 30F, switch from heat pump to boiler.
    When the ODT rises again, is 30F the SwitchOver point?
    User yesimon suggested having hysteresis and so I think maybe SwitchOver will be higher than 30F.

    Thanks!
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 812
    edited August 7
    N/m I'm over thinking it. Carry on.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,556
    Jim I don’t know the “swing” with the two different platforms talking to each other. I know when I set up Kumo stations there’s a 5 degree “either system may run” swing- it’s not adjustable. You know more than me on the software side 

    Integration isn't a perfect science 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,556
    Jim are there any YouTube’s on setting up IFTTT? I gave only done kumo station and Ecobee with Flair 

    thanks
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Jim100Flower
    Jim100Flower Member Posts: 100
    GW said:

    Jim are there any YouTube’s on setting up IFTTT? I gave only done kumo station and Ecobee with Flair 

    thanks

    YouTube was not a big help, but IFTTT is very simple. You can create the integration applets with a few clicks and no coding. The hard part for me was to decide which of the limited triggers and actions I could use.
    Basically, I will
    - set both the ecobee program and the Mitsubishi to 65F
    - put the ecobee (boiler) on indefinite hold at 60F
    - when the ODT drops, release the hold so the ecobee goes up to 65, AND lower the temperature on the Mitsubishi by 5F so that it will turn off.

    When you do ecobee with flair, what ODT do you use to switch from from the heatpump to the main heat (30F)? What ODT do you use to switch back, if not the same?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,150
    I hate to be a pain, but what happens when the internet goes paws up?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Jim100Flower
    Jim100Flower Member Posts: 100
    edited August 7

    I hate to be a pain, but what happens when the internet goes paws up?

    I appreciate your question because I want to discover all the holes in my proposal. Please tell me the trouble I will get into when the internet goes down. I think my proposal fails gracefully.

    Without integrated controls I have manual control. I will have a boiler controlled by ecobee and a heat pump controlled by a hand held remote control. When it gets cold outside I have to remember to manually switch over to the boiler.

    If the internet goes out, I still have manual control.

    If the internet goes out on a night of falling temperatures and I don't know it is out, then I will be expecting an automatic switchover and that won't happen. In my proposal (August 6, above) the ecobee is never set lower than 60F and so my pipes won't freeze.

    If the internet goes out on a night with rising temperatures and I don't know it is out, then I will be expecting a switchover to the heat pump that won't happen. In this case the ecobee controls the boiler with a set point of 65F. It is inefficient, but I have heat.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,150
    Sounds like you have a good plan B.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,556
    Jim my service guy is a little bit smarter than me with Ecobee/Flir integration. I have not personally set it up. I’ll get my hands on it soon and try to report back
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • yesimon
    yesimon Member Posts: 34
    For MA natural gas, switching around 40F is best for maximizing money, while switching around 30F is still reasonable for reducing emissions/climate impact without increasing electricity costs too much from reduced efficiency. You can set a 4-5 degree delta around these points.

    I don't know about Mass Save rebate program requirements but ultimately you have control over your thermostat programming.